East Texans buy Powerball tickets in hopes of winning $500 million

East Texans buy Powerball tickets in hopes of winning $500 million

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - When the Powerball Jackpot hit $500 million this morning, East Texans headed out to convenience stores to take a chance at becoming very wealthy.

Convenience store owners said they've never seen such a large amount of people buying any type of lottery ticket before, let alone Powerball tickets. Many of the customers were first time players.

"I got a phone call from my husband telling me that I needed to go buy a Powerball ticket and I was like we dont ever do this," said Lufkin resident Sandi Hunter. "So here I am buying a Powerball ticket. We've never done this before."

"This is my first time doing it," said Lufkin resident James Wank. "I always said if it was like $450 million or $500 million, I was going to do it."

The chances of actually winning the Powerball is 1 and over 175 million, which is incredibly slim, but many East Texans had some good ideas on how to spend the jackpot should they win it tonight.

"I would pay for my parents and in laws to retire and go on a lot of vacations," said Lufkin resident Carl Carrington.

"I would pay off my student loans, I owe $300,000 for a film degree," said Lufkin resident Connor Whelan

"I'd buy a new house and a new car" Hunter said.

Along with the more practical ideas, the Powerball players had some fun plans as well.

"I'd just go to the beach in Hawaii and sit and decide how to spend all the money," Wank said.

"Maybe I'd get a batman suit or a batmobile, something to drive around in, that'd be kind of cool," Carrington said.

"I'd buy a small island somewhere and retire," said Whelan.

Texas along with 43 other states and Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are all participating in the Powerball. Although chances are slim, many East Texans are hoping they will be the big winners tonight.

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